South Dakota unemployment rate benefits from surge in accounting & finance staffing


South Dakota unemployment rate benefits from surge in accounting & finance staffing
South Dakota unemployment rate benefits from surge in accounting & finance staffing

The South Dakota unemployment rate remained among the nation's best in December, falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.2 percent amid a recent influx in accounting & finance staffing.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between December 2010 and this past December, total nonfarm employment grew by 6,700 positions, as the unemployment rate dropped from 4.7 percent.

South Dakota's jobless rate of 4.2 percent is less than half the national average, which currently sits at 8.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Industries across South Dakota that performed the best last month included professional and business services, education and health services, and trade, transportation and utilities, reports the Chamberlain Oacoma Sun.

State Labor and Regulation Secretary Pam Roberts said in a statement that the mild winter thus far has enabled a number of workers to continue with their jobs for a longer period of time than usual.

"After several winters of extreme cold and harsh conditions, this year’s mild weather through December was very accommodating, allowing construction and other seasonal employees to work more," said Secretary Roberts, according to the news source.

While these industries certainly buoyed the South Dakota economy over the past month, the state has also experienced a significant surge in accounting & finance staffing in recent months.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports a number of banks have recently announced expansions in the state's largest city, leading to significant economic development and boosting construction staffing along the way.

In addition to the new finance positions these banks have decided to create, one bank will reportedly boost call center staffing in the state, adding 200 new positions to a new contact and operations center, the Argus Leader reported.

Mary Medema, director of workforce development for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, told the news source that the significant number of positions being added by banks have a massive effect on the state.

"Certainly jobs have been a key element in Sioux Falls’ ability to grow as quickly as it has," Medema said. "Home builders and multifamily builders are always excited about new job creation because that’s what represents population growth, it represents new dollars in the community and more decision makers... they are wonderful and critical to economic development and also a friend to economic development of every kind."